Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

Why does part of the Windows 98 Setup program look older than the rest?

When installing Windows 98, the part of the setup process where you enter things like product details looks... different. The scrollbars, buttons, title bar and such look more like they belong in ...

windows-98 windows  
asked by Wander Nauta 57 votes
answered by Stephen Kitt 92 votes

Is it true that Pentium III was faster than its successor Pentium 4?

My friend told me that earlier iterations of the Pentium 4 were not as fast as the Pentium III, but he didn't have sources. Is it true that the Pentium III was faster than its successor Pentium 4?

asked by May Teresa 40 votes
answered by user3528438 46 votes

When and why did high-level language compilers start targeting assembly language rather than machine code?

From what I've read, the first FORTRAN compiler built a machine-code program entirely in memory; it was, in fact, designed to read the entire source code of the program, and then sequentially load ...

assembly compilers  
asked by supercat 32 votes
answered by Jean-François Fabre 37 votes

History of non-American software/hardware/CS theory development, 1940s-1980s?

I am curious to learn about any developments in computer theory, hardware, and software that took place outside of the United States, in the middle of last century (~1940s-1980s). I have read 'Where ...

history british-computers  
asked by skytwosea 26 votes
answered by Raffzahn 55 votes

What was the first preprocessor for a programming language?

A preprocessor is a tool that takes source code as input and outputs a modified version of it for input to a downstream tool, such as a compiler or interpreter. Preprocessors can be used to implement ...

history programming  
asked by Psychonaut 9 votes
answered by another-dave 13 votes

Did the 6502 need both ADC immediate and SBC immediate?

The 6502 uses the carry bit system (over a borrow bit). On such machines, the bitwise NOT is applied to the subtrahend before it is "subtracted" (really, added, taking advantage of two's complement) ...

asked by Kevin Keith 8 votes
answered by Bregalad 8 votes

New to Using Amiga 500 Games

I have a working (I think) Amiga 500 system with internal DF0 drive and an external DF1 drive. The Amiga 500 powers up with Workbench v1.3. Can anyone tell me how to access a game disc (Marble ...

asked by Kevin 7 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

How were files transferred between different systems in the late 1980s?

Today there are adapters available allowing you to connect historic floppy drives to a modern PC. This allows you to copy data from historic floppy disks to the PC. In the late 1980s and the early ...

history data-transfer old-hardware-adaptation  
asked by Martin Rosenau 42 votes
answered by Raffzahn 52 votes

Why did C have the return type before functions?

In general, there are two types of syntax of defining functions - Something like C, C++, C#, or Java (int functionName(char arg)) vs the ML (and others) tradition of defining the return type after the ...

history c  
asked by Unix 45 votes
answered by Stephen Kitt 67 votes

What did the 8086 (and 8088) do upon encountering an illegal instruction?

Preface: This question does in part intersect with Use of undocumented opcodes, but targets especially the 8086 instruction handling. I was reading Tanenbaum's "Operating Systems, Design and ...

instruction-set 8086 8088  
asked by Joe D 47 votes

Have programming languages driven hardware development?

Programming language development has been influenced by hardware design. One example from this answer mentions how C pointers were, at least in part, influenced by the design of the PDP-11. Has the ...

hardware software c  
asked by Nathan 87 votes
answered by JeremyP 48 votes

What did the 'turbo' button actually do?

I remember the computer I played Commander Keen on as a child had a turbo button that I was forbidden to touch, what did this button actually do?

hardware ibm-pc  
asked by Neil Meyer 53 votes
answered by mschaef 72 votes

Strange math syntax in old basic listing

I'm browsing through an old book "Basic Computer Simulation" from 1983. It contains a line of BASIC code that reads: LET Z1 = M * D1 * (PQ / A) [ 3 I understand all of the code except the "[ 3" I ...

asked by Ron Jensen - We are all Monica 48 votes
answered by Greg Hewgill 59 votes

Did Apple not originally allow anyone to develop software for the Macintosh?

This probably nearly belongs on Skeptics.SE but here goes. Within the last few years I've become an Apple convert for the most part, which occasionally brings me into (usually) good natured conflict ...

software apple-macintosh software-development  
asked by Tom Kidd 66 votes
answered by Brian H 89 votes

Can you answer these questions?

Is there a "most correct" name for the disk format / filesystem used by Amstrads and Spectrum +3's?

The native floppy disk format/layout or "filesystem" used by Amstrad microcomputers such as the CPC and PCW range and by the Sinclair Spectrum +3 are versions of one that came from CP/M. In Amstrad ...

floppy-disk cp-m spectrum-plus-3 amstrad  
asked by hippietrail 1 vote

What are the needed jumper settings for an accelerator for an Amiga 3000T?

I'm trying to install a 68060 accelerator on an Amiga 3000T, but I cannot figure out the correct jumper settings. The information I've found online is: J100 CLK90 Delay jumper. This Jumper has three ...

asked by Zenzizenzizenzic 4 votes
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